Be Realistic for the New Year
I published this blog last year, but I still think it is relevant as we head into the new year.
The New Year arrives and suddenly everything is supposed to be different. All your old problems, whether they are solved or not, and all those character shortcomings have been left behind with the start of the New Year. The holidays were perfect, harried get togethers with distant relatives and last minute gift shopping excluded. You’re starting with a clean slate. And this year you’ve made those 10 perfect resolutions so the year is guaranteed to run smoothly. But wait a minute, before you get to far along with those idealistic resolutions for the New Year you should really make some adjustments:
- First, throw out those resolutions you’ve jotted down. Have you ever followed through with any of them for any year you can remember? Can you even find your old resolutions?
- Stop kidding yourself about starting up your exercise routine five days a week because you’ve started up a membership at the local fitness club and want to lose a few holiday pounds. Fitness clubs make a large part of annual revenues in January due to the after holiday rush, come February it’s back to the same old crowd at the fitness club.
- Don’t make sweeping resolutions that will make your life more stressful and set yourself up with unrealistic goals that can’t be met. You don’t need resolutions you won’t stick to like: I will not be late to any more meetings, I won’t procrastinate, and I will change my car oil every 5000 miles.
Instead make a shorter more general, more adaptable resolution list:
- Stay positive. You decide how you approach what happens to you on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
- Look at what areas you are already happy with in your life and see if you can build on those. Are there hobbies that you enjoy doing, but haven’t found the time to do? Make time to do your yoga, cycling, cooking, or writing, if that’s what makes you happy and lowers your stress level.
- Don’t try to make drastic changes overnight, start with small ones.
- Set up to make one change a month for each month during the entire year. If you fall behind, no worries, just work on that change for an extra month.
- Ask yourself – What do you really need to change? Change isn’t always necessary; consistency in how you live your life can be a better approach.
- Don’t take on the hardest change first. Baby steps sometimes lead to big changes over time.
- Rather than saying, “I can’t wait for this year to end”, say “I’m too busy living in this year for it to end”.
See, now instead of a list of rigid resolutions you have an outline to reuse every year. Remember, years aren’t measured by the number of days but by how you choose to fill each one of those days. Enjoy your new year.